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Av Per Ole Sivertsen 
The ANSFR Project will run between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010. The project is being coordinated and delivered by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (UK) working in close partnership with Frederikssund-Halsns Fire and Rescue Department (Denmark), Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco Nucleo Investigativo Antincendi (NIA) (Italy), the Emergency Services College (Finland), South West Finland Emergency Services (Finland) and Kanta-Hme Emergency Services (Finland). The project is co-funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Environment under the Civil Protection Financial Instrument, 2008 call for proposals (Grant Number: 070401/2008/507848/SUB/A3).

The Northumberland Arson Task Force (ATF), a multi-agency department established to tackle arson in Northumberland in northern England, will supervise and manage the project. A guiding principle for the project is the stimulation and utilisation of effective partnership working, both at the local and international scale. Officers working within the Northumberland ATF have significant experience of forming and maintaining effective partnerships through their daily work in coordinating fire investigations, arson prevention initiatives and local and international research projects.


The aims, objectives and outputs of the project

The overall aim of the ANSFR project is to reduce the human and financial costs of fires in the partner regions and Europe. In order to achieve this aim, the project team have devised 5 key objectives and plan to produce four key deliverables.


The five project objectives are to:

  1. Undertake a comparison of research techniques and tools used by the project partners;
  2. Develop tools, techniques and procedures for an effective and innovative risk assessment framework capable of being implemented in all European Union Member States;
  3. Create an innovative, secure access knowledge portal with document library;
  4. Create and develop a multilingual training tool for fire risk assessment;
  5. Draw upon, disseminate and implement best practice and expertise in fire prevention techniques and procedures, and fire risk assessment tools from Europe.

The three key project deliverables are to:

  1. Deliver four workshops, one to be hosted by each partner organisation;
  2. Create an electronic web-based system that will facilitate the EU wide exchange of good practice in effective fire risk assessment and management and provide a web-based training tool for European practitioners;
  3. Deliver a conference for practitioners from across Europe to promote and debate fire risk assessment and management practices.

ANSFR fire risk categories

The project team are using three key themes to structure the project activities:

         Accidental Fire Risk "The threat, danger or possibility of a fire being started as a result of an accident and/or as a result of negligence and/or as a result of lack of knowledge and awareness of common potential causes of fire."

         Natural/Environmental Fire Risk - "The threat, danger or possibility of a fire being started within a rural or rural-urban interface environment as a result of accidental/deliberate human activities or as a result of natural phenomena, such as lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions etc."

         Social Fire Risk "The threat, danger or possibility of a fire being started as a result of  arson and/or as a result of factors associated with, or factors contributing to, the high risk lifestyles of an individual or social group."

Project workshops in the UK, Denmark, Italy and Finland

A key deliverable of the project has been the organisation and delivery of four workshop sessions. The first three workshops have already been held and have produced some extremely useful results for the project and the project partners. A detailed handbook documenting all material presented at and produced during each workshop is currently being produced and is available to Fire and Rescue Services across Europe from the ANSFR Project Manager (contact details at the end of this article).


A summary of each workshop is now provided.


Workshop 1 Northumberland (UK), May 2009

The Northumberland workshop was the first of four workshops to be designed and delivered during the ANSFR Project. The event focused on developing an understanding of the project partners current challenges and priorities regarding fire risk assessment and management. After discussing these challenges, partners then described and discussed the approaches and initiatives that they currently implement to reduce and prevent fire risk.


Workshop 2 Frederikssund-Halsns (Denmark), September 2009

The Frederikssund-Halsns Workshop was hosted by Frederikssund-Halsns Fire and Rescue Department and focused on the assessment and management of environmental fire risk. Specialists in the prevention and suppression of wildfires and forest fires from the project countries, Greece and Australia attended and contributed to the event.


The event produced some extremely important findings which revealed some areas for possible improvement in the partners current wildfire suppression and prevention activities. Some of the partners have now pledged to work together in the near future to deliver and receive training in wildfire risk prediction systems and suppression strategies. These future projects will help fire fighters and incident commanders better interpret and predict the risk posed by developing wildfires.  


Workshop 3 Roma (Italy), November 2009

The Roma Workshop was hosted by Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco and focused on assessment and management of accidental fire risk. A number of departments within CNVVF and from across Italy contributed and participated in the workshop to share the benefit of their expertise and experience.


Some of the specific topics that were discussed and debated during this workshop included: fire safety in the home; fire safety in industrial premises; fire inspections; fire and accident safety on farms; reducing fire risk in cultural/heritage buildings; reducing risk of fire from trains carrying volatile/flammable substances; fire safety testing and engineering.


Workshops 4 Kuopio (Finland), April 2010

The Kuopio workshop is the final workshop to be delivered during the ANSFR Project. The event will be hosted by the Emergency Services College on 19th-23rd April 2010 and will focus on the assessment and management of social fire risk. The topics that will be discussed at this event include: risk profiling; fire victim profiling; arson prevention and investigation; reducing risk of fire for individuals living high risk lifestyles. A number of contributors outside the ANSFR Project team will attend and provide the benefit of their experience and expertise.


The Fire Risk in Europe Conference 2010 21st and 22nd June 2010

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (United Kingdom) have the pleasure of hosting the Fire Risk in Europe Conference 2010 in partnership with Frederikssund-Halsnaes Fire and Rescue Service (Denmark), Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco Nucleo Investigativo Antincendi (Italy) and the Emergency Services College (Finland). The event will be held at the Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel near Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom) and Gosforth

will provide a European platform for sharing best practice, knowledge and experience on techniques and strategies for identifying, assessing and managing fire risk.


Some of the specific topics that may be presented and discussed during the conference are:

  • Fires in the home
  • Wildfires and forest fires
  • Reducing fire risk as a result of high risk lifestyles
  • Children and young people and fire risk reduction
  • Reducing risk of fire for the elderly
  • Reducing risk of fire for the physically disabled
  • Reducing risk of fire those with mental health conditions
  • A number of other topics associated with fire risk assessment, management and reduction

Professionals working to identify, assess, manage and reduce fire risk are invited to attend this important event. Booking forms and further information about the event can be found at: http://www.fireriskeuropeconference.com/


Launch of the ANSFR Project website

All of the material collected and generated by the ANSFR Project will be made available on the project website http://www.fire-risk.eu. The website will go live on 1st April 2010, and will be presented to a public audience for the first time at the Fire Risk in Europe Conference 2010. The site will be an excellent resource tool for Fire and Rescue Services across Europe because it will contain a wealth of information on fire risk assessment and management from Europe and worldwide.


Contact for further details

The ANSFR project team are currently collecting examples of successful fire risk identification, assessment and management techniques and strategies. If you have an example of good practice in this field, or you would like further information about the project, please visit the project website http://www.fire-risk.eu or contact: 


Dr. Rob Stacey

ANSFR Project Manager

Northumberland Arson Task Force

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

Loansdean, Morpeth


NE61 2ED

United Kingdom



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